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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/2/09

A Limbaugh-Ron Paulian Republic? The Youth Will Decide

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They can define conservatism. Can they define progressivism?

Americans know Obama. Americans trust Obama. Do they know and trust progressivism?

Limbaugh's not pompous and not arrogant speech shows that progressives need to define their identity and develop a lexicon for discussing their message in public. That's how you sterilize the beast; halt their ability to make you sound foolish when you discuss what you believe in.

Limbaugh’s “address” picked at the seams of progressive and liberal ideology and values that Democrats and progressives and liberals seek to promote. What it did not do is fully assail Obama. Instead, it assailed the policies and principles that Obama seeks to uphold and impress upon the American people.

The address opened by making the point that conservatives are not racist because conservatives did not ask if Obama was authentically black while Democrats did. Limbaugh advanced the address into a chunk which explained that Obama has “extraordinary talents” and “communications skills” but that it breaks [Rush’s] heart that “these are not being used to motivate the American people to be the best they can be”; “he’s doing the opposite.”

Limbaugh explained, “President Obama has the ability to inspire excellence in people’s pursuits yet he is not.” And what’s worse is that he “speaks negatively of America.” He is constantly telling Americans that “tough times are ahead.”

Finally, Limbaugh hit the point that would likely be the subject of intense debate if brought up: President Obama wants to destroy our superpower status in the world. Out of fear and insecurity, what American wouldn’t worry about one day not being able to be number one in the world or the leader of the world?

What conservative wouldn't be right to defend America's right to be superpower? (Progressives need to dissect what this means when America's right to be a superpower is asserted.) 

The American narrative, the fight for the American Dream, the pageantry of American history---All of it is engrained into the minds of Americans as they go through school and Americans are taught that our history is more important than Native American history, African-American history, workers’ history, women’s history, and non-Anglo immigrants’ history.

As Rush Limbaugh said during his speech, don’t let Democrats make you feel guilty. Hang on to your optimism and confidence in America.

The philosophy conservatives have feeds into a perpetuation of American exceptionalism and an American economic system that is rife with problems. It asks those at the bottom to trust those at the top even when those at the top could care less what those at the bottom are doing.

So, what do progressives do? How do progressives do like Obama suggests and take this crisis and treat it like the opportunity it is? How do progressives heed the words spoken by Michael Eric Dyson at the State of the Black Union and make this more than just the first time an African-American has ever been president? (By the way, Limbaugh did not address the fact that Michael Steele, an African-American is now chairman of the GOP.)

Progressives must consider this line Limbaugh (and other conservatives) loves to feed to his audience:

“Take a look at all of the constituency groups that for fifty years have been depending on the Democrat Party to improve their lives and you tell me if you find any. They’re still griping about their problems---their problems don’t get fixed by government. And, those lives have been poisoned. Those lives have been cut short by false promises from government representatives who say don’t worry we’ll take care of it for you. Just vote for us.”

During Rush Limbaugh’s address, he picked apart the word “community” in such a way that would make one remember the dark days when the shadows of McCarthyism hung over America. Do you want to live in a country where the use of the word “community” makes people think communists are going to take over America?

Conservatives wish to maintain a devotion to corporations, a devotion that progressives must challenge if the progressive movement wishes to grow and sustain itself as a powerful alternative to conservatism.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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